James O’Malley

(28-12-1941 to 5-8-2002)
Inducted into the A.M.A.H.O.F.(Inc) for 2004

 Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2004

Shihan James O’Malley was born in Queanbeyan on 28th December, 1941, and educated at St Gregory’s Primary School and St Edmund’s College. He followed his father into the wool buying business where he remained until the time of his illness in 2002.

In 1959 he joined Peter Morton’s Jujutsu School at Corroboree Park, Canberra, where he studied for over 40 years and attaining his Rokudan (6th Dan Black Belt) and becoming the Schools Deputy Principal. He and Peter became best mates and together they shared many interests, including the early years of the Queanbeyan Whites Rugby Union Club.
His sporting interest brought him into contact with many people, including Peg, then a teenager with legs that became the subject of James’ abiding admiration.

They were married in 1971 and when James began running the RSL Judo Club, it was inevitable that Peg would follow him onto the mat and become an accomplished practitioner as well.

Thousands of Queanbeyan children went through the school under the guiding eye of James for more than 30 years. There were few children brought up in Queanbeyan that were not touched by James’ training. James taught David Campese (rugby International) to shoulder roll and he taught George Lazenby (actor who played James Bond).

Through rugby he met life-long friends and was passionate about tennis and running. In a community famous for sport James O’Malley stood out. The attributes of a good sportsman came naturally to him as did the self-defence code of respect. Integrity and honesty became synonymous with the name O’Malley and was often described as the gentlemans’ gentleman, a description which resurfaced when David Lewis OAM, who had met him in the early days of the Whites, sat down and wrote Peg from the heart. He said:

If any man led an exemplary life it was James. It was the way he conducted himself, his Christian morality, his faith, his sense of fairness, his devotion to his family and his concern for his fellow man that made him an example to us all.

James and Peg had four children who became involved in sport with their parents.

James started Kempo and Jujutsu training under the tutelege of Peter Morton and qualified Shodan in 1969. He assisted GM Morton in training the Police and Hostesses for the EXPO team to Japan in 1970 and he went onto becoming one of the few Instructors ever to receive a Life Membership in the Peter Morton Academy in 1997. He also received a Life Membership into the Queanbeyan and Districts Show Society (Wool Section) where he was a well known wool judge. He was a first grade tennis player and often competed in Queanbeyan and Canberra District competitions.

James was a marathon runner and often competed together with his wife Peg in the famous Sydney to Surf Run for three years until his knees decided better for him. He had a tremendous love of Rugby Union and was a member and player of the Queanbeyan Rugby Union Club playing in the ACT and District competitions.

James was also a highly respected parishioner of the Queanbeyan Catholic Church. When James passed away from a battle with pancreatic cancer on 5th August, 2002, he was missed by the thousands of people he had touched during his life with his exceptional loyalty and integrity.

There were over 800 people attending his funeral and showing their respects for a truly great man. It is befitting, and with great honour, that we accept James Michael O’Malley into the Halls of Fame within our Industry so that his memory will last forever embedded into our history for the future.